A/N: While typing this up, I realized that both chapters sound a little monotone. We happen to be reading The Stranger by Albert Camus. I suppose Meursault is rubbing off on me xD

Disclaimer: No, I don't own The Phantom of the Opera. It belongs to M. Gaston Leroux, and Daimmen belongs to ALW.


A Child's Toy

Chapter two

It was a fearful cry that brought Christine from her peaceful slumber. She had realized that she had fallen asleep while working on her project, and missed Erik's much anticipated homecoming.

Fearing that he may be hurt, Christine rose from her seat and rushed to find him. Upon discovering the main rooms empty, she decided that Erik must be in his chambers. Just as she had done earlier in the day, Christine gently pushed open the door and entered the nearly bare room.

She found him rocking himself in the corner with his knees pulled up to his chest. His hands were tightly fisted in his hair; the knuckles jutted white as they shook with the power of his grip. Silent tears streamed down his face and Christine could not contain herself any longer.

She rushed to Erik, but the terror from the nightmare was still fresh in his mind. At that moment, he could not recognize her. He pressed himself desperately against the wall and allowed a slight whimper to escape from his throat.

"Oh Erikā€¦ It is me, Christine! Shhh, you are safe here, I won't hurt you, you see?"

She tentatively held out a hand to him. He did not take it so she gently grasped his arm, ignoring the resulting flinch.

"Come with me Erik dear, I believe that I have a surprise for you."

The two of them quietly made their way back to Christine's room. She held Erik's hand tightly, fearing that he would suddenly bolt and run back to the confines of his room.

As they walked, she whispered to him soft words of comfort and encouragement, and was able to coax him to sit upon her bed. When she made sure that Erik was as comfortable as he could be, Christine stepped towards the vanity table where she had been working earlier.

Feeling Erik's eyes on her back, she turned around and presented him with a cleaned and mended stuffed monkey.

He broke the silence and gave a cry of surprise.

"Daimmen! I thought that I'd lost you. Thank you Christine!"

Erik snatched Daimmen from her hands and cradled the toy tightly to his chest.

Christine took the both of them into her arms and smiled at how a grown man such as the Opera Ghost would cling so strongly to a child's toy.

However, she understood.

His nightshirt was thin, and she could feel the long raised scars through the fabric; there were so many of them.

She knew that Erik had never been a child. He was forced to live as an animal and beast for so long that he never had a chance to. Daimmen was the first, only, and last childish act that was allowed to him.

Christine sang to him quietly as she rubbed his back. As her song ended, she found that he had fallen asleep.


Epilogue:

For the first time in his entire life Erik was a child, sleeping safely under loving watchful eyes, and finding comfort in the arms of a very old friend. Just for once, dreams melted into a temporary reality and his nightmares faded to become only distant memories.


A/N: Daimmen is a French boys' name, meaning: a saint who takes care of children.